Elvis Costello says he no longer performs ‘Oliver’s Army’

Elvis Costello says he no longer performs 'Oliver's Army'

L.A, 2022-01-11 12:57:11. Elvis Costello says he no longer performs ‘Oliver’s Army’


Rock pioneer Elvis Costello is back on tour this summer after COVID-19 halted his shows. But one song would be noticeably missing from his playlist.

Costello will no longer perform the song “Oliver’s Army”, which was a hit in the UK in 1979 and contains the N-word and has appealed to radio stations to stop playing it as well in an interview with the Telegraph.

“There is only one cause that causes itching; another widow, and one less white.” [N-word]Costello sings in the political anthem, inspired by the turmoil in Northern Ireland and his encounters with young soldiers involved in the conflict.

“If I wrote that song today, I would probably think twice about it,” he told The Telegraph. “That’s what my grandfather was called in the British Army – it’s a historical fact – but people hear that word go off like a bell and accuse me of something I didn’t mean.”

The song ran for a long time uncensored on the UK airwaves until 2013, when the BBC whistled to the bewilderment of some listeners, who argued that its deletion weakened the song’s anti-war message.

Costello agreed that being loudly alerted to the word “makes it worse,” he told The Telegraph, “because [radio stations] They highlight it afterwards.”

The musician said he wrote a new home for the song — one focused on censorship — for a previous tour but decided to pull the song forward, and that radio stations should do the same.

“Just don’t turn the drum!” He said.

Costello joins a growing group of musicians who have retired from songs with offensive material. The Rolling Stones phased out “Brown Sugar,” which opened with slave narratives and sexualized young black women, from the band’s lineup last year, though Keith Richards said he hoped the band could bring back a version of the song in the future. Hayley Williams’ lead rock band Paramore has retired, and arguably their most famous song, “Misery Business,” is partly because it contains lyrics referring to another woman as a “whore.”

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